For our August Mystery Book Club, we are reading mysteries set in/along the Appalachian Trail.
My choice was Blind Malice by Annis Ward Jackson. Blind Malice is the first in the Rachel Myers Murder Series set along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
"First in a series of 12 murder mysteries set along the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, Blind Malice introduces Rachel Myers, a native of the area who has come home for her father's funeral. The service is barely over when questions surrounding her father's death and his financial affairs begin to pile up.
Myers is not a professional detective but her natural ability for solving intricate puzzles, her tenacity, and her faith in that little spark that says she's on the right track, enable her to uncover shocking secrets from her father's past and come face to face with the menace that led to his death. "
If you don't know, and I didn't remember, the Appalachian Trail is a 2200 mile trail from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. In the late 1970's, while camping in the Florida Keys, we met a guy who had recently hiked the entire trail. Whew.
I really liked this book. Rachel is a likeable character that you empathize with immediately. Some real issues are explored in this book: aging parents, commercial development of the country side and what the locals think about it. (I found this to hit home, living in Central Texas and the huge population explosion and development.)
Rachel also has to deal with suspicious "friends" of the family, a high school sweet heart, a current sweetheart and a BIG family secret all wrapped up very cozy at the end. I really liked the descriptions of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Must be beautiful and I can sympathize with the people in their small town.
I plan on reading more in this series.